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Today was a historic day at HNLU Raipur. The students have been protesting against the discriminatory and arbitrary rules of the institution for the past three days.

Today on the 3rd day of the protest, in order to look into the demands made by the students, the Chancellor of the University appointed Mr. Ravi Shankar Sharma the Principal Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh, via notification as the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Mr Sharma would be discharging his duties as the Vice-Chancellor of the University, in addition to his present responsibilities as the Principal Secretary, Law and Legislative Affairs Department, Government of Chhattisgarh. After the appointment of the new VC took place, he came to the auditorium and accepted most of the demands orally and asked for 3 days’ time to make a decision on a few demands. He assured that all the demands will be taken care of.
The students have decided to continue the protest as long as all the demands are not accepted. The students have decided to attend the lectures and continue with the protest after the class hours. The appointment of new VC has come as a relief as we have an authority who is ready for a discussion and has already accepted most of our demands. We thank the students of NLSIU, NALSAR, NUJS, NLIU, NLU-J, and NLU-D for supporting us by releasing a solidarity statement.

Background: HNLU Raipur students had assembled overnight since 27th of August outside the college,  following the Chhattisgarh High Court’s ruling on 27-8-2018 in Dr Avinash Samal v. State of Chhattisgarh, that the 2014 extension of the Vice-Chancellor’s tenure had been made illegally as the recommendation for his extension was granted based on a statute that had not come into effect.

The students, employing the hashtag #HNLUkiAzaadi on social media, were calling for  the administration to “respect” the judgment of the Chhattisgarh High Court and “not allow Dr. Sukh Pal Singh to continue as the VC of the University, as his appointment has been found to be illegal”. The students of HNLU were also informed that the VC was contending appealing against the order. The Student Body Association of HNLU strongly opposes this appeal and wishes for Mr. Sukh Pal Singh to file his official resignation immediately. We also contend that henceforth, he has absolutely no power in relation to his previous duties as a Vice-Chancellor.

To view the list of demands, click HERE.

To follow the latest updates of Student Bar Association, HNLU on Facebook, click HERE.

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan JJ., in an order stated that ‘there cannot be any “blanket ban” on holding protests at Jantar Mantar and Boat Club in Delhi along with other parts of Central Delhi.

In an order by NGT in Varun Seth v. Police Commissioner, Delhi Police; 2017 SCC OnLine NGT 65, as reported, all the protests around Jantar Mantar area were banned due to rise in violation of the environmental laws, reason being the dharnas and protests taking place on the Jantar Mantar road.

The Supreme Court addressed the plea filed by an NGO seeking direction for the removal of ban for the said order by NGT. Therefore, Supreme Court by removing the ban directed the Delhi police to frame guidelines in this regard within a period of 2 weeks.

[Source: ANI]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Green Tribunal:  While directing the respondents to immediately stop all the activities of dharna, protest, agitations, assembling of people, public speeches, using of loud speakers, etc. at Jantar Mantar road, NGT  placed special emphasis on the adverse health affects from protests, especially on account of aggressive noise pollution.

NGT reiterated that the right to free speech and expression under Article 19 cannot encroach upon fundamental rights under Article 21,

“While one has a right to speech, others have a right to listen or decline to listen. If anyone increases his volume of speech and that too with the assistance of artificial devices so as to compulsorily expose unwilling persons to hear a noise raised to unpleasant or obnoxious levels then such person is violating the right of others to a peaceful, comfortable and pollution-free life. Article 19 cannot be pressed into service for defeating the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21.”

The directions were passed by Judicial Member Justice RS Rathore with the assistance of Expert Member Dr. Satyawan Singh Garbyal.

Jantar Mantar had become a symbolic protest battle ground, although the place for such activities has already been earmarked at Ram Leela Miadan for creating a peaceful environment for the residents on the Jantra Mantar stretch. NGT noted there were specific executive/judicial orders for the use of an alternate site for such protests i.e. the Ram Leela Maidan. Whereas earlier, protests used to be held at the Ram Leela Maidan, gradually they began to shift to the Boat Club lawns near India Gate. An administrative order was also passed by the Delhi Police to shift venue to Jantar Mantar Road. This was deemed to be improper by the NGT.

NGT noted, “the place for such activities has already been earmarked at Ram Leela Maidan, for gathering of more than five thousand people. This would strike a balance between the rights of the people in respect of their freedom of speech and expression and that of all the residents of the Jantar Mantar road to live a peaceful, comfortable and pollution free life at their residences.”

NGT thus proceeded by giving the following directions to stop the protests related activities on the Jantar Mantar road:

1. Government of Delhi, NDMC and Police Commissioner, Delhi were asked immediately to stop all activities related to protests, agitations, assembling of people, etc, at Jantar Mantar road.

2. All the temporary structures, loud speaker were asked to be removed from the stretch of Jantar Mantar road.

3. NDMC was also asked to immediately remove the garbage lying on the same stretch of Jantar Mantar road.

4. All the protestors, agitators holding dharnas to be shifted to an alternative site at Ram leela Maidan, Ajmeri gate, forthwith.

5.All the above directions to be complied within a period of four weeks by subsequently filing respective compliance report before the Tribunal. [Varun Seth v. Police Commissioner, Delhi Police; 2017 SCC OnLine NGT 65, order dated 05.10.2017]